[ARTICLE] Virtual Reality Community Gait Training Using a 360° Image Improves Gait Ability in Chronic Stroke Patients

Purpose: Gait and cognitive impairment in stroke patients exacerbate fall risk and mobility difficulties during multi-task walking. Virtual
reality can provide interesting and challenging training in a community setting. This study evaluated the effect of community-based virtual reality gait training (VRGT) using a 360-degree image on the gait ability of chronic stroke patients.

Methods: Forty-five chronic stroke patients who were admitted to a rehabilitation hospital participated in this study. Patients meeting
the selection criteria were randomly divided into a VRGT group (n=23) and a control group (n=22). Both these groups received general
rehabilitation. The VRGT group was evaluated using a 360-degree image that was recorded for 50 minutes a day, 5 days per week for a
total of 6 weeks after their training. The control group received general treadmill training for the same amount of time as that of the
VRGT group. The improvement in the spatiotemporal parameters of gait was evaluated using a gait analyzer system before and after
training.

Results: The spatiotemporal gait parameters showed significant improvements in both groups compare with the baseline measurements (p<0.05), and the VRGT group showed more improvement than the control group (p<0.05).

Conclusion: Community-based VRGT has been shown to improve the walking ability of chronic stroke patients and is expected to be
used in rehabilitation of stroke patients in the future.

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